Yeast into Space. So, Why?

Ninkasi Brewing Company will send 16 strains of brewer’s yeast above Earth’s atmosphere. In partnership with the Civilian Space eXploration Team, the first amateur rocketeer group to successfully launch a rocket to space, the yeast will then be analyzed and used for brewing.


“NSP is a very serendipitous project,” explains Nikos Ridge, CEO and co-founder of Ninkasi. “I don’t think you could have planned a more perfect pairing of beer and space geekery.”


With almost a year of planning, NSP will finally get off the ground this month. Ninkasi’s lab technician, Dana Garves, and RapidMade, a Portland, Ore. company specializing in 3D printing, worked hand-in-hand to design and create a payload container built specifically to safely carry the 16 yeast strains into space and back to Earth for brewing—the first to do so.


If successful, the NSP team will return to the brewery with healthy yeast, ready to make its way into a beer. Sort of a space odyssey meets beer marketing collision.


“Obviously, the fact that we’ve never launched yeast into space presents many challenges in itself even with months of planning,” says Ridge. “While we have confidence in our partners and the process, this is uncharted territory on several fronts and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds on launch day.”